Janis Commentz - Sketchbook in Monet's Garden at Giverny, France
As my favorite season approaches, I think of mornings spent journaling and reading on our backyard porch swing. I think of mornings and afternoons painting on the patio. To me, forever bound to the traditional academic calendar, summer tempts me with the colors, tastes, and textures of lemon meringue pie and sweet juicy watermelon!
If you are a painter, these colors are just as tempting pouring out of the tube! I am ready to set up a table of summer delights and begin painting!
Janis Commentz - Sunflowers-acrylic on canvas
Recently, partly due to an overlong winter, I have noted a bit of grumpiness, belittling and inconsideration creeping into creative events in which I am participating. It’s baffling at times. How are we to react?
In all areas of life, we flourish when we have the respect of those around us. As I Google “respect and creativity” I find a gold mine of ideas. Respect is vital in healthy day-to-day experiences. When we set out to create and develop our talents, we are seeking joy and purpose! Not all of our endeavors can be as smooth as lemon meringue pie or as tasty as watermelon, but respect certainly helps cultivate creativity.
R eview and redirect our own behavior. Compliment before complaining! Avoid joining in the whining and criticism.
E mpathy -all artists young and old need encouragement and consideration. We teach this to our young. Are we considerate when encountering an artform very different from our own? Do we support those who are learning new skills? Recently, I bought a piano keyboard recently, and it’s a great reminder of my lack of skill. I am delighted with my very baby steps!
S pirit and Support – An individual’s spirit can be easily crushed. While direction and guidance may be given, kindness is crucial! We grow hardened to heartless behavior, but we don’t expect it from our art community
Pay attention and pay it forward! Listen and speak a few kind words when we see someone suffering from harsh remarks. We talk a lot about bullying, and some of our leaders are not modeling the best behavior. Help make your art community an encouraging environment!
E tiquette-an old fashioned word for good manners. Let’s hope they never go out of style!
C reativity flourishes in a respectful environment. Artists deserve dignity. We all are a little wary when someone is watching over our back—but the difference between callous criticism and loving kindness is like night and day!
T houghtfulness-Creativity is a thoughtful procedure. Nurture your own creative forces and those around you in a laboratory, greenhouse, conservatory or studio that boosts creativity. Take your Vitamin R (Respect-no chemical or app intended) Respect yourself! Respect Others! Respect your surroundings!
Sunlit Jasmine Poolside Lavender Fields
all by Janis Commentz
And thank you to the many sweet people who have encouraged my practice and helped lift my spirits. Sunshine brightens the mood of any painting!
P.S. I promise to post more about France and my sketchbook soon!